New Zealand First has accepted Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross’ proxy vote.
The party – part of the Government’s coalition – received a letter from Ross on November 3 asking the party to hold his proxy vote. Ross’ offer of his proxy vote to the opposition National Party which expelled him was recently rejected.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said in a media release this afternoon that the New Zealand First caucus strongly believes that in terms of the Electoral Integrity Amendment Act, someone in Ross’ position should resign his seat and test his mandate with the electors of Botany “and we urge him to do so”.
“That said, after careful deliberation, New Zealand First is able to confirm that it has accepted Mr Ross’ request.
“The party wishes to make clear that its decision to accept Mr Ross’ proxy, until such time as he revokes it, is done solely on the grounds that the electors of Botany gave a clear expression of their will at the 2017 General Election when they elected him with a significant majority.
“It is on that basis, and that basis alone, that the New Zealand First Whip will use Mr Ross’ proxy–to be exercised at all times in support of the vote of the National Party–as a temporary delegate for the electors of Botany. New Zealand First does this to ensure that all New Zealand voters continue to receive representation in parliament.”